US Coffee Shops Monopolized by Big Three

In a city like San Francisco, it may seem like the great American landscape is nicely populated by locally owned, entrepreneurial coffee shops – the kind that are unique, character-driven, and a real part of the neighborhood. However, that is not the case in the great American landscape of coffee shops. What completely dominates our coffee land are the major brands: Starbucks, Dunkin’ or JAB Brands (which includes Peet’s).

The large chains are the big gorillas on the block, no doubt about it, and it is a very rich block with $47.5 billion in sales in the coffee shop market. There are now 37, 274 branded coffee shops and coffee-centric restaurants in the U.S., a 3.3% growth over last year. Starbucks, Dunkin’ and the Peet’s type brands account for 78% of the coffee shops in America. So, if you’re traveling through the Midwest and certain parts of the East Coast, you’re going to run into a lot of Dunkin’ shops and very few of the real-deal local shops. In the cities, you’ll find Starbucks aplenty. But a Starbucks is a corporate-y Starbucks, and is not the exceptional coffee and coffee house you’re looking for.

So, while we’re ducking into Peet’s or Starbuck’s or a Dunkin’ for a coffee, we might also make friends with a local neighborhood coffee shop that serves up excellent coffee (and cold brew is a large, growing segment) and proudly exhibits an anti-corporate character.

And, of course, we can always brew a luxurious cup of coffee by skipping the middle people and shops altogether, and buying online for fresh roast goodness – like we offer here at Caiim. You get better-than-Starbucks coffee from Caiim, and you’re supporting clean water programs worldwide.